A key part of the Leatherby Libraries’ mission statement is to provide services that “ensure the development of the information-literate global citizen.” Towards that goal, Leatherby Libraries librarians are constantly refining and improving the instruction that they offer students in First-Year Focus Courses (FFCs) and other library instruction sessions. After many years of using the TRAAP evaluation method as our primary tool to teach Chapman University first-year students how to evaluate information sources, the Leatherby Libraries librarians are now teaching students a new method to critically evaluate information sources: SIFT.

SIFT is an acronym developed by innovative information literacy expert Mike Caulfield for the following method:

  • Stop
  • Investigate the Source
  • Find Trusted Coverage
  • Trace to the Original

Whereas TRAAP (which stands for Timeliness, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, and Purpose) is a checklist approach developed to evaluate information in an era when most libraries were still mostly focused on print materials, SIFT was specifically designed to evaluate online resources. This change in approach will help Chapman students be better prepared to choose better information sources, not only for their research, but in their everyday lives of information consumers.

In addition to this new information evaluation strategy, the Leatherby Libraries is also in its second year of using Canvas modules to teach information literacy to Chapman University students in their FFCs, using the new emphasis on hybrid learning to reach students more effectively.

For more information, contact Chair of Instructional Services Taylor Greene.

Cover image courtesy Mike Caulfield.